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Updated by Daniel Cash K Cash on Mar 20, 2024
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Startup Growth Studies

A list of all growth studies found on Essential reading if you're looking to build and grow a startup.


New Relic's Growth Playbook from Startup to IPO

Over the past six years the company has seen remarkable growth. New Relic monitors nearly 700 billion data points per day across 1 million websites and more than 1 billion mobile app installs. In their earnings call in February of 2015, New Relic announced it had more than 11,000 customers.

What Ignited Tinder's Explosive Growth?

When Wolfe returned from her trip, Muñoz says Tinder had grown from fewer than 5,000 to almost 15,000. "At that point," he says, "I thought the avalanche had started." The importance of this early supply-side seeding and word of mouth growth through collegiate greek networks cannot be understated, as it helped the unknown app reach the critical mass necessary for the network effect to take hold.

How Stripe Marketed to Developers So Effectively

With 172 employees, a current valuation of $3.5 billion, and $200 million in funding, Stripe is now processing billions of dollars a year for thousands of businesses, and the company is well on its way to fulfilling the goal as expressed on the company's website-increasing the GDP of the internet.

How Spotify Grew to 50 Million Users

Spotify is a truly remarkable growth story. In just six years the company is valued at more than $10 billion and has more than 50 million users, 12.5 million of which pay for the service. But how did the company get to where it is today and what is its growth engine? We dive deep into Spotify’s story to uncover the key elements that helped them grow to incredible heights.

Airbnb - The Growth Story You Didn't Know

Airbnb is now a household name that has surpassed industry legacy Hilton Hotels in nights booked. As of spring 2014, the platform had 10 million guests and 550,000 properties listed worldwide, along with a $10B valuation-making Airbnb worth more than legacy players like Wyndham and Hyatt.

WhatsApp - The Anti-Marketing Growth Phenomenon

By November 2011, WhatsApp had become the No. 1 paid social app for iOS, and had been downloaded 10 million times on Android. WhatsApp went on to raise another $50M from Sequoia in July of 2013. And in February of 2014 the company was acquired by Facebook for $19B, the largest to date for a venture-backed company.

LinkedIn Growth Engine: The Never Ending Viral Loop

Within four months, LinkedIn had hit the 50,000 user mark, and the company, behind the bonafides of its founding team and early promise, landed $4.7M in venture capital from Sequoia Capital in its first major financing round. Within a year of launch, they'd reached 500,000 users...

Yelp's Five-Star Growth Engine

In 2012, Yelp opened on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation of about $898 million. By September 30, 2013, they had accumulated 47 million reviews, with an average of 117 million monthly visitors, according to the company's own numbers.

Cracking the Code to GitHub's Growth

A little over a year after launch, the company had gained its first 100,000 users. In July of 2012, GitHub secured $100M in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz, a massive bet and vote of confidence for a software company at that stage. This investment, the firm’s biggest to date, resulted in a $750M valuation. That same year, Forbes named GitHub one of the Top 10 Tech Companies.

GitHub's Secret Super Powers (Part 2)

Delight isn't just a concept GitHub uses to drive word of mouth-it's built into the company's entire philosophy. Preston-Werner explains, "We're in a different kind of situation than we were a hundred years ago. We're not factory workers anymore, and we need to behave differently in order to optimize what matters to us-creativity and quality of life."

Upworthy (Part 1) – What Happens When a Growth Hacker Launches a Media Company

Growth Study] Upworthy launched on March 26th, 2012, and just seven months later, they were getting almost 9 million monthly uniques visitors. In November of 2013, just 20 months later, Upworthy saw close to 88M unique visitors worldwide, with mobile visitors eclipsing desktop viewers for the first time.

Upworthy (Part 2) – 88 Million Uniques, But Will This Kill Upworthy?

Growth Study] While Upworthy's ascent to the top of the digital media landscape has been impressive, there are questions about its viability as a long-term media player. Pressure from competition-new and old-as well as an over-reliance on Facebook and the pressure to crank out a never-ending string of hit content have created a situation that demands continuous innovation to stay ahead of challengers.

HubSpot - How to Grow a Billion Dollar B2B Growth Engine

HubSpot invented the term Inbound Marketing, and has lived it's mantra, driving their business from an idea in 2004 to a $50M+ run rate in 2012 in the competitive marketing tools and services category. But is the story that simple?

Evernote - The $0 Growth Engine

Evernote has never been sexy, almost ran out of money, and doesn't benefit from the network effects that drive many of today's successful companies. Yet Evernote's 75 million users and $1+ billion valuation prove they've figured out their own unique growth engine. So what is it?

Snapchat - How Did Snapchat Reach a Multi-Billion Dollar Valuation?

The beginning of Snapchat, a photo and video messaging application for iPhone & Android is shrouded in controversy, yet one thing is clear - the idea dreamed up by fraternity brothers from Stanford goes far beyond just being a "sexting" app.

Uber - What's Fueling Uber's Growth Engine?

What began in 2009 as a luxury car service in San Francisco is now valued at $3.76 billion and operates in more than 35 cities worldwide. As of August of this year, Google Ventures has officially cast their vote of confidence in the startup with a $258 million investment-a full 86% of their $300 million annual budget-and for good reason.

Belly - How to Grow a Network Effects Startup, Lessons from Belly Card

You may not have heard of Belly, but what they've achieved by building a multi-sided marketplace business in the notoriously difficult small business market is nothing short of impressive.

Square - How Did Square Grow So Quickly?

By combining an elegant integrated payments system with a distinctive conversation-triggering piece of hardware, Square has disrupted the credit card payments establishment while making credit card processing more accessible to small businesses everywhere. In only a few short years (they were founded in 2009), Square has skyrocketed to a rumored valuation north of $3.25 billion dollars and 600 employees.